Walnut Hill, Fla. woman charged with theft, fraud

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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A Walnut Hill, Fla. woman turned herself into the Escambia County Sheriffs Office (Fla.) Monday night on a grand theft and fraud warrant, according to officials.

Paula S. Pugh, 48, was charged with fraud (swindle), obtaining property under $20,000, and larceny, grand theft of $10,000 or less than $20,000, according to an ECSO warrant report.

According to the report, between July 26, 2021 to Dec. 9, 2022, Pugh – who was the treasurer/bookkeeper for the Northwest Escambia Little League organization – allegedly wrote checks on NWE’s account, cashed them for personal use; completed unauthorized debit transactions for personal use; and completed numerous ATM withdrawals for personal use. The transactions totaled $16,977.87.

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According to the report, there were numerous transactions allegedly completed by Pugh that haven’t been backed up by receipt or other account records. The transactions include ATM withdrawals from an Atmore bank, items purchased at a Dicks Sporting Goods, NWE checks made to cash and signed by Pugh, allegedly; to name a few.

According to the report, NWE president of the ball park John Maughon filed a report with the ECSO in reference to the misuse of funds. The ECSO then collected bookkeeping records, and went over said records with John and Bonnie Maughon to place them into evidence, according to the report.

From the interview, ECSO investigators were able to compile the itemized list.

Additionally, during the investigation, records indicated that a ball tournament that was completed on June 13, 2022, at NWE ball park, yielded a receipt/cash profit totaling $10,012.66, according to the report.

According to the report, the books were secured from Pugh, and after numerous attempts were made to contact Pugh that went unanswered, the ECSO made contact with Pugh and she agreed to meet with them on the matter. A sworn and recorded interview with Pugh was conducted.

Pugh, who is listed as a teacher at Northview High School, was booked into the Escambia County (Fla.) Jail in Pensacola at approximately 5:15 p.m. on April 17. She made bond some 20 minutes later.


Editor’s note: The Northwest Escambia Little League isn’t affiliated with Northwest Escambia (NWE) Football and Cheer league.